Jaguar F-Type sportscar unveiled
01 October 2012
Jaguar marked a return to its roots at the Paris Motor Show by unveiling its new F-Type.
Road deaths increase confirmed
01 October 2012
Figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) confirm that 1,901 people were killed in road accidents in 2011, an increase of 3% on 2010 figures.
Meanwhile, 23,122 people were seriously injured, an increase of 2% on 2010 figures and the estimated number of people killed in drink-drive accidents increased by 30 to 280. The provisional number of killed and seriously injured because of drink driving rose by 5% to 1,570.
Drink driving accounts for more than half of the increase in road deaths. Of the increase in the number of people killed on our roads (51), 30 can be attributed to drink driving. Failing to look properly was the most significant contributory factor, reported in 42% of all accidents.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "The increase in deaths and serious injuries because of drink driving is absolutely shocking. It accounts for more than half of the increase in road deaths. We must see a drink driving education campaign, backed up with enforcement, to put an end to these completely unnecessary deaths. With last year's surprising increase in deaths and early indications from 2012 that a trend could be developing, the IAM urges the new road safety minister to make road safety his absolute priority.”
The DfT statistics also reveal that 205 people were killed or seriously injured in an accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor. Worryingly, the shocking statistic is an 8% rise on the previous year’s figures and goes against a year-on-year decrease since TyreSafe was formed.
“These latest figures are very disturbing, especially given that the number of casualties in all road accidents also rose for the first time in many years,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “It really does reinforce the need for drivers to regularly inspect their tyres to make sure they are safe and legal. October’s tyre safety month is the perfect opportunity to carry out some basic tyre checks and help put a stop to this needless loss of life.”
The figures show that three-quarters (75%) of all people killed on roads in the UK in 2011 were male and 412 people were killed in crashes involving a young driver age 17–24 - accounting for 22% of all road deaths in 2011.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “We hope these statistics will spur the government to implement progressive policies that we know help make walking and cycling safer, and prevent young driver crashes.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging greater collaboration with Government on road safety following the publication of annual casualty figures which show the first increase in road deaths since 2003.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: "These figures must be taken as an opportunity to revise the way we work to make roads safer. It is a chance for road safety professionals and the new ministerial team at the Department for Transport to come together and discuss the way forward.
"While we appreciate that the Government has tough funding decisions to make, we must now do more to arrest and reverse the number of people being killed or hurt on our roads. Now is the time to drop the proposal to increase the motorway speed limit to 80mph, and the decision not to set casualty reduction targets in the Government's ‘Strategic Framework for Road Safety'.
“The drink-drive limit should be lowered from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg – in-line with the proposed changes in Scotland & Northern Ireland - and Government, the insurance industry and road safety bodies should work together to make the best use of black box technology in vehicles, especially to help young drivers and at-work drivers."
Survey lifts the lid on damage while parked
01 October 2012
Only 3% of motorists whose vehicles were damaged while parked had been left any contact details from the other party, according to research.
Perhaps not surprisingly, car door dents were the most common damage to parked cars with nearly two-thirds of motorists reporting this type of damage. The BCA survey also reveals paintwork scratches or key lines accounted for 61% of damage, while 32% of motorists surveyed by BCA returned to their vehicle to find wing mirror damage.
Damage on unattended vehicles:
• Car door dents – 64%
• Paintwork scratches or key damage – 61%
• Wing mirror damage – 32%
• Deflated tyres – 3.6%
• Graffiti – 1.4%
But it’s not just damage while the car is parked that’s worrying drivers. According to BCA’s poll of nearly 1,000 motorists, the state of UK roads and the effect on vehicle condition is also a cause for concern. Over two thirds blame potholes for noticeable or significant damage to their car. And more than half think speed humps are responsible for noticeable or significant damage.
“Cars are bound to pick up some damage day-to-day, whether this means parking dents and scratches, speed humps and pothole damage or stone chips,” said Tim Naylor, editor of the BCA Used Car Market Report. “But it is important to get any damage repaired as soon as possible before it deteriorates, particularly if you are thinking of selling your car. Cars in good all-around condition generally sell quicker and for more money, so protect your investment by having repairs done in good time.”
Clamping advice offered as new rules take effect
01 October 2012
The ban on clamping without lawful authority on private land in England and Wales comes into force on Monday (October 1) as a result of the implementation of the Protection of Freedoms Act.
The legislation covers a multitude of issues relating to the ‘restoration of British liberties’, according to the Home Office, including a ban on wheel clamping on private land. To help motorists understand the new rules the RAC Foundation has produced some FAQs, which can be accessed free of charge by clicking here.
However, despite the change to the law, the RAC Foundation is concerned that rogue clampers will simply turn to rogue ticketing.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The good news is that clamping on private land has been outlawed. The bad news is that many rogue operators could simply turn to indiscriminately issuing parking tickets instead. Most legitimate parking firms are members of the British Parking Association and so sign up to a code of practice and a new appeals service.
"But no parking operator is obliged to join the BPA meaning the rogue companies can continue to do their business at the fringes of the law. Industry figures suggest almost half of drivers who get a ticket will pay up without questioning its legitimacy. So ticketing could turn into a nice little earner for unscrupulous companies who've been forced to hang up the clamps."
Report confirms importance of field-based staff
24 September 2012
Businesses are investing further in customer service teams to meet the growing expectations of customers on the doorstep, according to a new industry report .
The report reveals that 57% of operations directors and managers say their service teams have grown since 2007, while nearly two thirds believe their service division will grow in the next five years. The industry study was carried out with 100 managers and directors of businesses in the UK with field service departments across a variety of industries including communications (phone, cable and satellite), utilities, trade (HVAC, plumbing and electrical) and waste management.
The strategic importance of field service operations is increasingly recognised at the board of director level with 90% of companies in the survey saying their organisation was fully committed to improving field operations. Just under half (49%) said their board is placing more strategic importance on field service excellence than it did a year ago. The report also found that field-based employees were perceived as the face of the company by 90% of respondents, demonstrating the increasingly key role these teams are now playing in the overall business and in potentially impacting customer service and retention.
Businesses are also going to greater lengths to ensure service levels are maintained, with 82% now running customer feedback programmes to monitor satisfaction, and over half now using social media to capture feedback. More than three quarters of managers anticipate a larger role for social media in the future. It's clear that today's field-based organisations consider a customer-centric focus to be a priority, with customer satisfaction given as the top priority (68%) for meeting field service objectives, followed by customer retention and improving profitability.
There is a growing acknowledgement of the increasing expectations of customers and the links between customer service, retention and profitability. Those businesses recognising their workforce as not only the company face but also a customer retention tool can reap the rewards as service continues to be a differentiator and something consumers could use to make an informed decision about who to buy services from.